Chelsea believe they are in a better position to sign Manchester United target Juan Cuadrado after allowing Marko Marin join Fiorentina on loan.
The London Metro cites a report in El Mundo Deportivo claiming that the Blues are serious about making a rival bid for the Colombia international, who has been the subject of intense transfer speculation this summer.
Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal has been heavily linked with a bid to bring the £36 million-rated star to Old Trafford, while Barcelona have also been mooted as admirers of the South American.
However, Jose Mourinho is now understood to be at the front of the queue for Cuadrado's signature after sweetening his relationship with the Serie 'A' club following Marin's season-long switch to Stadio Artemio Franchi.
Mourinho mind games
The Chelsea manager has previously insisted that he isn't looking to sign any more players this transfer window having already negotiated deals to bring Cesc Fabregas, Diego Costa, Filipe Luis and Didier Drogba to Stamford Bridge.
However, the Blues continue to be linked with a number of different stars, and Cuadrado is now being touted as the primary candidate to complete a move to west London.
Cuadrado in high demand
The 26-year-old is one of the hottest properties on the current transfer market following a series of scintillating performances at the World Cup in Brazil this summer. His fine form follows an impressive 2013/14 season in Italy with Fiorentina and now Vincenzo Montella is ready to cash-in.
Speaking in his post-match press conference after Chelsea's 2-0 friendly victory over Real Sociedad at Stamford Bridge last night, Mourinho appeared to go back on previous statements by admitting that his squad is "not perfect", fuelling speculation of another arrival prior to the September 2 deadline.
Of course, Manchester United retain hope of completing a deal for Cuadrado with a conflicting report from Goal.com suggesting that an agreement is imminent. Senior officials at Old Trafford are said to have been in constant contact with Fiorentina for several weeks.
Van Gaal is determined to sign a top quality winger and has also been linked with Angel Di Maria, but the Fiorentina wide-man would appear to be the more realistic option with Real Madrid demanding £55 million for the Argentine.